Cornerstone Development Group, said to be the first private developer of workers housing, launched the Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory project. The ceremony was held at Hawassa Industrial Park on Wednesday.
The company is apparently owned by U.S. investors.
It is intended for laborers working for more than 21 manufacturers in Hawassa Industrial Park. When completed, in two years time, it is expected to support about 6,500 workers. The company has got approval from Ethiopia’s investment board. It will cost 600 million Ethiopian Birr.
A press release by the developer says housing has been an issue both for workers and employers. Workers walk three to five kilometers, which impacts productivity.
The statement from Cornerstone Development Group also sees that the housing issue has, among other things, contribution to a high attrition rate, which discourages investors.
The full press release from Cornerstone Development Group is featured below :
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory in Hawassa Industrial Park by Cornerstone Development Group
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 13, 2021) – Cornerstone Development Group groundbreaking ceremony for the Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory will be held on September 14, 2021. The first private developer of workers’ housing community in Hawassa Industrial Park.
The Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory is a first-of-its-kind housing community with a capacity to house 6,500 local workers of the Hawassa Industrial Park. The entire complex will have 13 buildings, various sports facilities, plenty of green space, center quadrants with stores, banks, and other amenities to completely accommodate industrial workers on-site with a focus on opti mal comfort.
The Hawassa Industrial Park is a textile-focused, cutting-edge industrial park that has attracted over 21 companies over the years, including some of the world’s most recognizable names in the textile sector. Every day, approximately 30,000 employees, of whom 85% are women, walk three
to five kilometers to and from work as housing is unfordable within the city. One of the most significant challenges that companies face is being unable to increase efficiency by adding more shifts and employing additional workers as there is serious scarcity of affordable, adequate housing that is safe and sanitary within the city. It is all too common to hear of 10-15 workers sharing one small room for housing. Despite the companies’ best efforts to provide free bus transportation to and from work, workers are frequently fatigued since they must walk long distance to catch the bus. Attrition rates are high, putting a significant impact on manufacturing productivity.
“Building the Hawassa dormitory, the first of its kind, is a unique opportunity to solve a major problem for Ethiopia’s apparel workers. Currently, they are crammed together in substandard housing a long way from their workplace. Soon they will have a facility in the park which will ease their living concerns … a clean and safe environment that they can call home.” Hal Wright,
Chairman, Cornerstone Development Group
The Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory is an innovative and scalable vision realized by Corner stone Development Group (CDG), a company formed by seasoned American real estate develop ers with a development portfolio in the billions of dollars with brands such as Extended Stay America, Homestead Village, EchoStone Housing to name a few. The co-founders of CDG are Sirak Ambaye real estate and finance expert, and Hal Wright, a pioneer in the extended-stay ho tel sector.
The Hawassa Village Workers Dormitory is estimated to cost ETB600 million, is approved by the Ethiopian Investment Board, is funded by Cornerstone founders, co-financed by KfW, with additional locally financing by Zemen Bank. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2023.
“We wanted to remove the stigma around worker housing and build a facility that the government and manufacturers would be proud of. But most importantly, that the workers would happily call home. This type of housing is a crucial piece of the puzzle as Ethiopia tries to
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